What about you? Have you been beaten down, hurt, unjustly treated, fired? Maybe you’re tempted to give up. I get it.
But you don’t have to. You can take one step at a time, day after day, facing your fears and uncertainty, moving forward and upward.
But it all starts with not giving up and fighting.
Ghengis Khan’s (affiliate) life changed irrevocably when a rival tribe kidnapped his wife. Instead of letting her go and finding a new wife (what most men in his culture and time did, especially at his level, insignificant and impoverished), he did the unthinkable. He raised a fighting party and battled to win her back. He won.
And that decision was one of the most significant steps that helped him build the greatest empire the world has ever seen.
You may not want to be an emperor, but you want to win. You want to overcome your challenges.
“You don’t belong here,” or “These people are better than you,” are words that can creep into our minds. But they shouldn’t.
There are times in our lives and careers when we feel like imposters, sneaking into a room full of “worthier” people than ourselves, wondering how we got here.
But you’re not an imposter!
The fact is is that most of those people whom you are thinking are so worthy are probably thinking and feeling the same way you are—unworthy.
But that’s the wrong mindset. Focusing on that isn’t worth your time. Instead, focus on how to achieve a goal, fulfill your duty, grow in your work. The more you do that, the more you will feel like you belong.
Ironically, the less you think about your worth and create value, the more worthy you become.
And, more than that, you are worthy because you have inherent worth.
Failing isn’t just failure. It’s a sign that you are trying, attempting—alive.
When you fail, it doesn’t mean you’re silly or a loser or even a failure. No. It says you tried doing something outside of your comfort zone. It means you’re an explorer, adventurer, believer. You’re courageous.
You know that life isn’t just about living or staying alive. It’s about feeling alive, pushing yourself beyond your limits, growing.
Failure is just a part of the growth process. So don’t quit because you made a mistake, faltered, or failed miserably.
Get back up and see that this is the path you trod to gain great things, a greater you.
That’s a definition that is determined by you, not by your failures, mistakes, or even others.
You make that decision every day by choosing what you do with your time, energy, talent.
Get up and decide to learn from your failures and continue marching forward, trying this and that to see what will work.
Work on that thing you believe in, even if everyone else is laughing at you because you’re not alone.
Every successful person experienced failure. It’s an essential element of success. Failing is a part of the process.
So choose to move forward despite your fears.
For, there is no success without failing.
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Did you get some tingles, a head-nod, or a chuckle while reading this post. Or, did you snag a bit of value?Perfect. Get more of that kind of action by following this blog and signing up for the newsletter. I’m pounding away at my keyboard to improve your mindset.
Growth happens when we try something new. But starting that new thing can be difficult; sometimes it feels impossible. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can break free and grow in ways you never thought possible by doing this.
If you haven’t read Range, by David Epstein (affiliate), you need to. It will change the way you think about thinking.
Most of the world holds the notion that experts are what we need, people who are hyper specialized. Ten thousand hours are what it takes to succeed, is the belief (it’s what I believed). They are the authorities; they are the ones who will change the world, cure cancer, untangle the perplexing complexities of the universe, push us into the future. But that often isn’t true.
Range delves into that. It is an amazing exploration and explanation of how you can become great at something, and it’s surprising.
The anecdotes he uses are compelling. Some of the most accomplished people in the world became great in unexpected ways. They started their craft, sport, education, much later than you think was possible to rise to the level they did. They will inspire you.
For those of you who are in midlife like me, life isn’t over. Some have recreated themselves, learned a musical instrument well enough to play professionally, started high growth businesses, lived a whole new life later in life. It’s possible. It’s in the book.
When I read it, I felt like I had new life breathed into me, allowing me to see my potential, abilities, and future anew. It gave me hope.
You see, I’ve had a windy and strange career. I hopped and bopped around: ministry, data-entry, banking, business, entrepreneur, creative strategist are the positions I’ve held. Now I blog, too. Yes, strange, I know.
And I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that I was insufficient because I was the farthest thing from a specialist. If I had ten thousand hours in anything, it was changing course, which I believed couldn’t be valuable.
But Epstein helped me see that I was wrong. He made me realize that my disparate experiences are a virtue, not a vice.
They are what help me add value because I can borrow from one experience and provide a fresh view in a completely different area. That’s what has helped me survive, even thrive. It’s what helps me ideate for my clients, start a business, think.
However, Range isn’t just for generalists. If you are a specialist who wants to find new, fresh ways of thinking, read this book.
Or if you are a person who wants to make a change or has changed a lot and wonder what good you can create in the world, Range will open your eyes.
Parents, if you’re wondering how to help your children succeed, this is incredibly insightful. It’s helping me reframe how I deal with my kids.
If nothing else, this book (affiliate) will stretch the way you think.
Perfectionism doesn’t help us progress; mistakes do.
With the right mindset, they push us forward. We need to know that succeeding isn’t neat and tidy; it’s sloppy and messy. It’s mistake-ridden.
When you make a mistake, it lays the groundwork for improvement. Every failure is an attempt to do something. And in those attempts, you experience this and that. You test a hypothesis; you discover. You see what works and what doesn’t work, and you can understand something new about yourself.
Sure, making a mistake is painful, and it’s tempting to want to ignore the failure, avoid it. But that would be a waste. That would be a bigger mistake than the mistake you’re trying to forget.
Mistakes are a goldmine for growth and learning. But you can’t learn and grow from them if you ignore them.
If Steve Jobs didn’t get fired from Apple, he wouldn’t have learned what he needed to learn to come back and become its successful CEO. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, said that he’s made billions of dollars of failures. And without those costly mistakes, his company wouldn’t have grown, making him the wealthiest person in the world.
One of my biggest mistakes was taking on some wrong business partners. I was the one who pushed for partnering and got it. In the end, it got me. And it almost broke me.
But as I healed and recovered, I changed. I got stronger, smarter. And I am much more careful when it comes to partnerships. I learned.
And this blog post is a product of my mistake. If I would have never failed at those partnerships, I don’t think I would have ever tried blogging. I grew.
You see, we are mistaken about mistakes.
They hurt like hell at the moment, but they are blessings. If you understand them aright and try to learn from them, things won’t just get back to normal; they often get better.
So make more mistakes. Take risks. Try new things. Put yourself out there. Learn.
And you will find that a mistake can become a marvel.